Summer is a time of promise and excitement. The weather is warmer and for lucky ones, me included, we get to go on holiday. This month has brought me and friends to the beautiful area of Tuscany in Italy. With promises of hot weather and romantically beautifully surroundings alongside some pretty damn good food I was dreaming of Carbonara in the days leading up to the flight. I don’t need to go into much about the flight day or the lazy day we had yesterday because there really is not much to say. I finished and started a book, look out for my blog post on Funny Girl by Nick Hornby and we had a mass rainstorm followed by some glorious sunshine. Today was different.
It started off, beautifully. So, instead of a lazy day by the pool we heaped into the cars and trundled off down to San Gimignano delle Belle Torri or in English San Gimignano of the Beautiful Towers. A winding drive up to the walled city enables you to get a real look at the 14 medieval towers that are encapsulated by the surrounding walls and give you a sense of what you might be getting when you manage to get parked. According to The Lonely Planet’s Guide to Tuscany book: “the towers were symbols of the power and wealth of the city’s medieval families,” and you can tell. They are simply stunning. Slightly intimidating but incredibly beautiful.
The name San Gimignano delle Belle Torri gets its Sand Gimignano name from: “the Bishop of Moderna, St Gimignano, who is said to have saved the city from a barbarian assault,” and the dell Belle Torri from perhaps obviously the towers that reach to the sky. Originally there were not just the 14 towers that you can see today but over 70 of them, hence its name.
This first trip out was a little mixed and confused I reckon. I ended up missing going into a the Museo d’Arte Sacra as I had to rush to the closet ATM to buy a bag I couldn’t resist. So, it’s more likely that I was the mixed and confused one as opposed to the actual day. Take a look at my beautiful leather bag designed by Vera Pelle that I managed to pick up for €22. It’s only small and I can’t even fit my purse in it but it smells and looks gorgeous.
I did however manage to have a look round the Museo della Tortura, which is as the name suggests The Museum of Torture. Located in the Torre della Diavola, the She-Devil’s Tower it contains a grim and unnerving presentations of not only medieval torture devices (it does touch upon ones still used today) but also a Chinese torture exhibition room. With the stomach churning information and medieval drawings/photographs of how certain contraptions were used this museum is not for the faint hearted. It’s brutal but ultimately made me think about how ridiculously lucky I am to have been born in this century and into a country that condemns those acts that people believed were their right to inflict on others in those days (and still today unfortunately).
There was so much more to see of San Gimignano. But the storm happened. It was torrential. It was cold and I’m not sure the restaurant we became stranded in appreciated the mass of people, ourselves included, who huddled into their doorways to escape the rain. We waited twenty minutes and then we ran back to the car to escape the storm and leave San Gimignano behind us. I wonder where we head to next.